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Career and Education Opportunities for Food Graders in Phoenix, Arizona

If you want to be a food grader, the Phoenix, Arizona area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 780 working food graders in Arizona; this should shrink by 7% to 720 working food graders in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for food graders are expected to grow by about 0.2%. Food graders generally grade, sort, or classify unprocessed food and other agricultural products by size, weight, or condition.

Food graders earn about $8 per hour or $17,850 per year on average in Arizona and about $9 hourly or $18,850 annually on average nationally. Food graders earn less than people working in the category of Farming generally in Arizona and less than people in the Farming category nationally.

There are seventy-six schools of higher education in the Phoenix area, including two within twenty-five miles of Phoenix where you can get a degree to start your career as a food grader. The most common level of education for food graders is less than a high school diploma. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a food grader if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Food Grader

Food Grader video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, food graders grade, sort, or classify unprocessed food and other agricultural products by size, weight, or condition.

Every day, food graders are expected to be able to organize information in a variety of ways. They need to control objects and devices with precise control. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for food graders to separate fiber tufts between fingers to gauge strength and cohesive quality of fibers. They are often called upon to grade and sort products in line with factors such as color and quality to insure correct processing and usage. They also discard inferior or faulty products and/or foreign matter, and place acceptable products in containers for further processing. They are sometimes expected to weigh products or estimate their weight, visually or by feel. Somewhat less frequently, food graders are also expected to record grade and/or identification numbers on tags or on shipping, receiving, or sales sheets.

Food graders sometimes are asked to place products in containers in line with grade and mark grades on containers. And finally, they sometimes have to weigh products or estimate their weight, visually or by feel.

Like many other jobs, food graders must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Phoenix include:

  • Animal Breeder. Breed animals, including cattle, or pet birds. Select and breed animals according to their genealogy, characteristics, and offspring. May require a knowledge of artificial insemination techniques and equipment use. May involve keeping records on heats, birth intervals, or pedigree.
  • Farm Labor Contractor. Recruit, hire, and supervise seasonal or temporary agricultural laborers for a fee. May transport, house, and provide meals for workers.
  • Greenhouse Assistant. Work in nursery facilities or at customer location planting, cultivating, and transplanting trees, shrubs, or plants.
  • Livestock Farmer. Attend to live farm, ranch, or aquacultural animals that may include cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses and other equines, poultry, and bees. Attend to animals produced for animal products, such as meat, fur, and honey. Duties may include feeding, watering, herding, grazing, castrating, branding, de-beaking, weighing, and loading animals. May maintain records on animals; examine animals to detect diseases and injuries; assist in birth deliveries; and administer medications, vaccinations, or insecticides as appropriate. May clean and maintain animal housing areas.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Food Grader Training

Mesa Community College - Mesa, AZ

Mesa Community College, 1833 W Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ 85202. Mesa Community College is a large college located in Mesa, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 23,825 students. Mesa Community College has an associate's degree program in Agricultural/Farm Supplies Retailing and Wholesaling.

Glendale Community College - Glendale, AZ

Glendale Community College, 6000 W Olive Ave, Glendale, AZ 85302. Glendale Community College is a large college located in Glendale, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,228 students. Glendale Community College has an associate's degree program in Agricultural/Farm Supplies Retailing and Wholesaling.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona photo by Urban

Phoenix is located in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 1,567,924, which has grown by 18.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Phoenix, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Phoenix cost $218,200 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 2,176 new homes were built in Phoenix, down from 6,560 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Phoenix are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 22.7% of Phoenix residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Phoenix is 10.0%, which is greater than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Phoenix residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. San Francisco Xavier and Good Shepherd Convent are among the churches located in Phoenix. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Phoenix is home to the Arizona Highway Patrol Headquarters and the Gila Valley Lookout as well as Indian Bend Park and Stephen Park. Shopping centers in the area include Alta Vista Shopping Center, Arcadia Plaza Shopping Center and Arcadia Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Phoenix can choose from Four Seasons Limousine LLC, Maricopa Manor B&B Inn and Motel 6 for temporary stays in the area.